A group of dogs tussle at the Wisner Dog Run while their owners watch on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2013. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)
In December, the city of New Orleans announced the opening of the Wisner Dog Run, the first free, official place for dogs to play without a leash in the city limits, accomplished by a maze of new fencing between the existing Wisner Park softball field, basketball courts and playgrounds that allows pets ample room to romp.
“This is something that people in the neighborhood have been waiting for for a very long time,” said Sam Winston of the Friends of Wisner Park. “People are just thrilled.”
Though Uptown dog owners and neighborhood residents cheer the development, it represents a significant departure from a much more ambitious plan discussed at public forums throughout the city in 2012 for as many as 20 new dog parks and dog runs on vacant land across the city. Instead, city officials are now evaluating new spaces for dogs to get off-leash exercise on a case-by-case basis, and Wisner may represent the new model for the future of how dogs, their owners and other park-goers play together in New Orleans in the future.
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